Bobby Bones Explains How ‘American Idol’ Is Embracing TikTok And Instagram Stars

Jill O'Rourke | Talent Recap

American Idol in-house mentor Bobby Bones says one of the biggest changes on the show this season is how many TikTok and Instagram stars have been embraced by the show.

Gone are the days of contestants coming out of nowhere. These days, many hopefuls have massive online followings and experience in the music industry. Read on to see what Bobby said, and find out which influencers you can expect to see.

Check out a preview of “American Idol” Season 19.

Bobby Bones Teases TikTok Stars On ‘American Idol’

Bobby Bones recently talked to Parade about the upcoming Season 19 of American Idol. He teased a few changes, and pointed out that the show is embracing the growing popularity of TikTok and Instagram as platforms for budding stars.

Idol acknowledges the real world, meaning it’s aware that people are getting [known from] TikTok and Instagram,” Bobby said. ‘We’re like, “Great, come be exactly who you are, we’re not going to change you—let’s see how far your talent and your voice will take you.'”


We already know a few of the people he’s alluding to. Perhaps the most notable example is Claudia Conway, daughter of former Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, who has been in the news a lot over the past several months.

Another TikTok star is Benson Boone, who currently has 1.2 million followers on the platform. There’s also Adriel Carrion, who has over 71,000 TikTok followers. Several of this year’s contestants also have large Instagram followings, including former La Voz Kids star Alanis Sophia, and controversial The Four contestant Jason Warrior.

Learn more about the new season of “American Idol.”

What Changes Can We Expect This Season?

Bobby Bones also alluded to more technical changes on this season of American Idol. “We have changed the categories a bit where people get to choose their format,” he told Parade, adding that the judges paired people up for duets in Hollywood Week, instead of letting the contestants choose.


The COVID-19 pandemic has also changed production this season. “I’m so happy that COVID security is there and in place,” Bobby said, “because if not, when I’m mentoring and trying to help out these kids, I’d probably have an arm around them. But they don’t really allow that this year.”

Want to find out even more about this season of American Idol? Check out Talent Recap’s video above, which includes details about COVID precautions and a preview of some of the standout contestants. Then check out the season premiere on ABC this Sunday, February 14.


Jill O'Rourke
Jill O'Rourke

Jill O’Rourke is a contributor at Talent Recap, writing news stories and recaps for shows like ‘AGT,’ ‘The Voice,’ and ‘American Idol.’ She graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in English and Film Studies, and has been writing about pop culture since 2012, with previous bylines at Crushable and A Plus. Jill spends her free time binge-watching sitcoms and daydreaming about life as a hobbit

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